Happy New Year!

The New Year is an important turning point. It’s a time to look forward and a time for reflection.  2011 was huge for me and especially for my business.  It was this time last year (January of 2011) that I was laid off my part-time job and decided to focus all my energy on making Steel Petal Press my full-time career.  It’s hard to believe that was only a year ago because SO MUCH has happened since then and so much has changed over the past year.

1 – Card Designs and process.
I have designed and printed soo many new card designs in the last year that my store front hardly looks like the same place it was just one year ago. Some of my new favorites (and best sellers) from the last year are:

My Favorite Valentine's Day Card

Dang Letterpress card

Chicago Letterpress Poster Print

The Best letterpress Thank You card Also around this time last year I started printing all my cards on 100% cotton rag (tree free) paper which is not only nicer to the environment but also looks the best and leaves the best impression.  I also started pairing each card with a colored envelope adding so much more than plain, boring white.

2 – Custom jobs!
Although I had completed a few custom orders before 2011, this was the year my custom orders really started to take off!  I completed  35 Letterpress Wedding Invitation suites, plus Save the Dates, custom Wedding Guestbooks AND I introduced a new line of Personalized Stationery, which sold very well over the holidays.

3 – Space
I bought a press and moved into my very own studio space.

4 – Etsy front page
Items from my shop were featured on the etsy front page 9 different times

5 – Press and Praise
My story was shared on Etsy Blog “Quit Your Day Job” series and Blogxcar Press Blog.   I was also featured or mentioned in many other great wedding and paper blogs like Rustic Wedding Chic, Paper Crave, and Oh So Beautiful Paper.

6 – Craft Fairs
This year I only left town once for a regional craft fair in Madison WI, and still managed to sell at 11 craft fairs in the Chicago area through out the year.

Needless to say, it’s been a very very busy and rewarding year full of ups and down (mostly ups) and over all a fantastic learning experience…

Moving forward I really need to start thinking about next year with more long term business goals in sight.  This year was more of a test for me; a trial period to learn if running my own letterpress business was even a possibility. Up until this point I have been more focused on getting things done rather than long term vision. Now that I know it *can* be done, I really need to hunker down and write up some business plans, some 5-year goals and start to envision my business even longer term than that.

My business goals for this year are:
1 – move into a bigger more professional space where I can meet clients instead of out of my home.
2 – purchase a paper cutter (so I don’t waste so much paper cutting 3 sheets at a time)
3 – adjust my prices on custom to better reflect the labor involved.
4 – get a steady intern (or two) to help with the production process
5 – Visit the National Stationery Show in New York to see what it’s all about (before applying myself)
6 – Write out a (real) business plan with long term goals

Longer term goals in the next 5 years. (in no particular order):
– buy another press (a Vandercook press and/or a Windmill.)
– hire an employee (or two) someone to help with Admin, Marketing, PR, web maintenance and other business stuff. Also a studio assistant to help with production.
– be featured in a national publication (Brides Magazine, Style Me Pretty, Martha Stewart Weddings) OR on tv 🙂
– Participate in the National Stationery Show (2013)


So, now, after all this business talk I also want to mention some of my personal goals to help me lead a more balanced, productive and healthy life because we all know career isn’t everything (although sometimes its easy to forget…) and without love, friendship and laughter the rest of it would have no meaning.

– husband. – My husband is my best friend. He has always been there for me, supported me and encouraged me from the beginning. I need to remember no matter how busy I may be, our relationship comes first.   We should always find time to spend quality time together, continue to work on our relationship and on healthy communication.

– health – as I get older my health becomes more and more important to me. I want to add some light weight lifting to my work out routines to build muscle.  I want to continue to go to the gym at least 3 times a week and find more time for my pilates classes (which I abandoned when the holiday season started getting insanely busy)

– detox – I have a 2 week elimination plan for this January. no booze and no sugar for two weeks.

– friends – spend more time with Chicago friends. With a craft fair every weekend in December, I had to disappear from my friends, but I want to make sure I know what’s going on in their lives and I can be there for them if they need me or even just for some smiles and good times.  Balance is key.

– Savings – hopefully put some money into savings for the future.


So that sums up my 2011 and my goals for 2012. I’m sure there’s something I forgot to mention that I’ll remember later.  Either way 2011 was a really huge year! and I can’t wait to see what 2012 has in store.

for now, over and out – Shayna

5 Responses to “Happy New Year!”

  1. Lucia says:


    Let me tell you: You are an inspiration to me!

    I started my photo retouching/design and photo gifts biz this past June, but it wasn’t until a month or two ago that I discovered Etsy.

    What a wonderful venue and I am just beginning to try to focus my designs on specific products and build a store there. Since I have just started my small business, it is still a side job, but eventually I would love to fully dedicate myself to work with what I love, like you.

    While reading some success stories at Etsy, I came across yours and because I liked your work, I started following you on Facebook and you really do inspire me to follow my heart and passion.

    I just wanted to share this with you because I know how good it feels when others give positive feedback and I thought it would be nice to let you know.

    I wish you another year full of great success and many more adventures to come your way!


    • shayna says:

      Thank you so much Lucia! I spend so much time working alone, it’s always so nice to hear back from people 🙂

      I wish you all the best in your endeavors in 2012!


  2. […] is my recap and goals from 2011. It’s amazing that so many of them came true! http://steelpetalpress.com/2012/01/happy-new-year/ Share this:ShareFacebookEmailStumbleUpon Click here to cancel […]

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